Trump refused offer to secure more of Pfizer vaccine
At a time when efforts to contain the surging number of Coronavirus infections in the United States were underway, the Trump administration passed on an opportunity to secure more doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. As per media reports, the Trump administration last summer opted not to seal the deal to buy millions of additional doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, a move that can significantly delay the delivery of the second batch of the doses for the United States until the company fulfils its other international contracts.
A report by the New York Times has stated that Pfizer offered the Trump administration an opportunity to secure more vaccine doses beyond the 100 million doses that were agreed upon. However, the two sides never made the deal. This took place before Pfizer’s Coronavirus vaccine candidate achieved success in the clinical trials last month. A day ahead of this revelation, US President Donald Trump addressed a White House summit, taking credit for the rapid development of upcoming COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve Pfizer’s vaccine by the end of this week. It will allow the delivery of 100 million vaccine doses – enough for 50 million Americans – in the coming months. Pfizer’s vaccine is one of the two in line for emergency FDA authorization in the coming day, the other being of pharmaceutical company Moderna. Vaccines of both Moderna and Pfizer have achieved a 95% effective rate against the COVID-19 disease. As per the contract between the US and Pfizer, an initial 100 million doses were secured by the Trump administration, with an option for buying more doses. However, anonymous sources have told Associated Press that the White House opted not to lock the deal for additional doses.
A third vaccine is in pipeline and it has also shown moderate effectiveness. US states are struggling to contain the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalization due to the disease. Noting the rising infected cases, medical supplies and equipment are expected to be scarce in the forthcoming months. Health officials have warned the people to adhere to precautionary measures, even with a vaccine on the horizon. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ summit is expected to underline the Trump administration’s strategy to administer and distribute the vaccine.